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We Shall Not Be Moved

Ida B. Wells

(July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931)

We shall not be moved

Long before Rosa Parks there were many more

From 1841-1937 the fore runners were vigilant

Two Civil Rights Activist from Massachusetts were the start

Fredrick Douglass and James N . Buffum put their heart into the cause

The White’s only train seemed like a good place to make a change

Off the train they went

A White’s only train is good enough for us

A law suit ensued

Congress granted the Civil Rights Act of 1875

The Supreme Court said not

They can’t limit us cause we will not be moved

On July 16 1854 Elizabeth Jennings Graham took charge

A school teacher in New York decided to be an equal

On the bus without the ”Colored Persons Allowed” sign she sat

The conductor said no, she said yes

The conductor threw her off the bus

To court she went

Represented by the soon to be 21st president Chester A. Arthur

A victory she did have

Paving the way for all street and rail cars to be color blind by 1860.

One month after the Civil War ended in Philadelphia

Octavius Catto took to the trolley car

His mission, desegregate pubic transportation

He was told to move

He refused

The street car conductor ran the track off the track

Detached the horses

He stayed on the car all night

He maintained his civil rights

With the help of two congressman a bill was passed

No more public transit segregation in Pennsylvania at last

Ida B. Wells a school teacher was she

Seated in the ladies’ car comfortably

The conductor said move to the smoking car

She said no this seat I paid for

Thrown off with no refund

On her return to Memphis

A law suite did she launch

She won

The Supreme Court reversed by the decision

Courage to stand gave her the victory

These are just a few fore runners of Rosa Parks

Her action catapulted us to todays freedom of the seat

The shoulders we ride on are great

Their ambitions and determination are greater

Now all public transit seats are color blind

Anjetta (Anjie) Williams-Brown


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